RWE Buys Vattenfall’s Norfolk Trio for EUR 1.1 Billion, Restarts Paused Norfolk Boreas Project

Shortly after changing the preferred wind turbine supplier, the three projects in the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone in the UK have now also changed hands as RWE will acquire Vattenfall’s 4.2 GW Norfolk portfolio for GBP 963 million (approximately EUR 1.1 billion). The new owner says it will also resume the development of the Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm that was paused in July this year.

The three projects include Norfolk Vanguard West, Norfolk Vanguard East and Norfolk Boreas, each with a planned installed capacity of 1.4 GW.

The transaction between RWE and Vattenfall, which is still subject to approval by The Crown Estate and regulatory approvals, is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2024.

According to the two companies, the majority of the purchase price relates to expenses spent to date as the projects are in the late stage of development.

The Norfolk offshore wind farms have already secured seabed rights, grid connections, development consent orders (DCOs) and other key permits. The Norfolk Vanguard West and Norfolk Vanguard East projects are the most advanced, having secured the procurement of most of the key components, with the latest being the wind turbines.

The news on RWE’s takeover of the Norfolk trio comes shortly after Vattenfall and Vestas signed a capacity reservation agreement for 92 V236-15 MW wind turbines for Norfolk Vanguard West.

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The soon-to-be former owner also signed exclusivity agreements with Vestas for Norfolk Vanguard East and Norfolk Boreas.

With Norfolk Vanguard West and Norfolk Vanguard East being at an advanced stage, RWE plans to secure contracts for difference (CfDs) for the two projects in one of the upcoming auction rounds.

The new project owner also says the company will resume the development of the Norfolk Boreas project, which Vattenfall paused this Summer saying the decision was made due to challenging offshore wind market conditions. 

The conditions have improved in the UK since then, according to responses from the industry to the UK government’s recent announcement on changes to the upcoming CfD auctions.

In a press release from 20 December, announcing the agreements signed for its wind turbines, Vestas said the new parameters for the next contracts for difference (CfD) round “sent a very positive signal to renewable energy investors”.

Following the agreement with Vattenfall, RWE’s UK Country Chair, Tom Glover, also said the company welcomed the UK government’s recent decisions on future offshore wind auctions, which provide developers the confidence to invest.

“The UK has been one of our most important core markets for decades. We are delighted that we can now further contribute to achieving the UK’s ambitious build-out targets for offshore wind. The timely and efficient deployment of offshore wind is essential to ensure the UK’s domestic energy security, as well as achieving our net zero targets,” Tom Glover said.

RWE plans to have all three Norfolk offshore wind projects commissioned in this decade.


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